Can I bring power to the 4-way switch?


I have a standard circuit with a 3-way switch on each end and one 4-way switch in the middle. Will it work if I run power to the 4 way switch instead of one of the 3-way switches? The light is also connected to the 4-way switch.

[UPDATE] Before I have to fire up paint and draw something see if this helps:

Current setup:

12/3 wire: 3waySwitch -> 4waySwitch -> 3waySwitch.
12/2 wire: power -> 4waySwitch -> light bulb

I have a light fixture coming off the 4wayswitch. Can I bring power to the 4waySwitch instead of one of the 3waySwitches like it's typically done? This is new construction and I already ran the wire. I haven't tested it because the power is not live. I could re-run the power wire if I have to. The question is, do I have to?

The goal of course is to allow all 3 switches to turn the light off/on (goes without...

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4 way switch wiring diagram at house wiring

Home Wiring 4 Way Switch The difference between a three way change and a typical change is connection,or one additional terminal. A-3 way change has 2 terminals which can be either one final that’s dark coloured and magic or metal coloured. The brass or magic devices are termed messengers or individuals along with the dark-coloured terminal is called the most popular. If all three terminals search related in shade, the final that is common will soon be recognized from the concept “frequent” placed around the back of the move.

Those devices on the switch’s arrangement can differ dependant on producer, so examine carefully to ensure correct detection of the terminal that is most popular. In A3 way switch enterprise you will see two 3 way switches plus a lighting or number of lights which are controlled by the switches. As each switch could change the lamps on or down,there must become a means where one switch may...

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Below are common methods of wiring up three-way switches that were taught to me by the master electrician I worked for many years ago (late 80s/early 90s).

The graphics and images were created about 6 years ago.

The page was re-vamped in 2006 to finally include a few real pictures.


The below descriptions are for informational use only, if you are unsure about what you are doing when it comes to wiring then find a licensed electrician in your area to assist you. The money you pay will be worth the piece of mind you will get knowing it was done right.

Replacing Existing Switches:

Read the below description FIRST before removing any wires. It is often times difficult to determine which wire should go onto which terminal of the replacment switch.

Knowing the 'travelers' and 'point' of the existing switch will make replacment much easier'.


The ground wire is not shown in any...

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4 way switch wiring diagram at wiring house

Home Wiring 4 Way Switch One of many most difficult automotive repair duties a mechanic or repair shop could tackle could be the wiring, or rewiring of a vehicleis electrical system. The issue essentially is the fact that every car differs. While trying replace, to remove or fix the wiring in a auto, having an accurate and comprehensive wiring diagram is critical towards the success of the repair work. Often times, a mechanic is burdened as a result of outdated or incorrect wiring schematics which might be given by improper solutions.

There are several solutions that attempt to give the mechanic online with wiring diagrams today. Most instances these vendors have both inappropriate or incomplete images that may potentially charge the shop wasted time, income as well as perhaps a lawsuit. A botched automotive wiring task is just an error that is potentially tragic that no repairman that is moral wants to produce....

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Most DIYers can easily tackle replacing a standard single-pole switch. However, things get a little more complex when you need to add a 4-way circuit. The 4-way circuit is used when you want to control the light or lights from three or more locations. This article and detailed wiring diagram outlines the steps to wiring a 4-way switch.

When Do You Need a 4-Way Switch?

If you understand the logic behind the 3-way circuit, the 4-way will not seem that difficult. The 4-way is used when you want to control the light or lights from two or more locations.

4-Way Switch – NOT To Be Confused With a 2-Pole Switch!

A 4-way switch has four terminals (do not confuse with and purchase a 2-pole switch by mistake).

The 4-way terminals are labeled “In” and “Out” (two of each). The mechanics of this switch are simple, in that they either switch the travellers straight through, or criss-cross them.

To add more than three locations for one set of...

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Electrical Wire Connections to Switches and Outlets

Do you recommend using push in type wire connectors? Also when using a dimmer in a 4 way switch circuit can you place the dimmer in any of the switch positions?

Dave's reply: The push in connections are ok, except for 20 amp circuits or high load devices that will be used, especially with outlets. The function of a 4-way dimmer may depend on the type of dimmer you select and the switch wiring configuration as a whole. Lutron dimmers are great when multiple dimmers are required.

Different Types of 4-Way Switches

I was replacing a 4-way switch that seemed to be burned out on one pole and still had problems. After using your web sight and thinking through my problem, I realized that the old 4-way switches (about 23 years old) did not conform to current standards. The inputs and outputs were side to side, respectively, in stead of top and bottom as you show and how my new switch is designed. The...

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Seven Methods:Put safety first.Examine the 4-way switch.Wire the switch.Wire the first 3-way switch.Wire the 4-way switch.Wire the last 3-way switchComplete the circuit.Community Q&A

When you add a 4-way electrical wall switch to a wiring circuit with a number of 3-way switches, you can turn a lighting fixture or appliance on and off from several different locations. For example, you may want to control a ceiling light in the basement from the top of the stairs, from the bottom of the stairs, and from a door leading to the outside. This is not as complicated as it sounds, but when working with electrical wiring, you will want to know how to wire a 4-way switch easily and...

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Someone enters the same room near the switch at the right of the graphic. He or she flips that switch. Now there is again a pathway for the electricity. This time it flows over the second of the two wires running between the switches.

When you encounter what was supposed to be a three-way circuit, and you can turn it "on" at one of the switches, but not at the other switch, unless the first switch is already "on," the problem is usually that one of the wires going into the switch is on a terminal for one of the two wires going out of the switch.

Not all three-way switches are the same, either. All of them have two screws on one side of the switch and one screw on the other side. But, the screws for the wires running between the switches may be on the same side of the switch, or they may be on opposite sides of the switch at the same end of the switch. You cannot make assumptions. It is not uncommon to find that one switch in a three-way circuit uses one arrangement,...

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Wiring a light fixture so that it can be turned ON or OFF from more than 2 locations requires the installation of both 3-way and 4-way switches.

Figure 1 - 4-Way Switch

Selection of 4-way switches.

There are numerous wiring scenarios. If you are replacing a 4-way switch it is only necessary for you to remove the wires from the defective switch and install them on the replacement switch in the same manner.

If you are installing a new circuit, then it is best if you feed the AC power to either the first switch or the light fixture. To feed power to a switch in the middle of the circuit, makes wiring that much more confusing.

It should be noted that the circuit can control more than one light fixture. Additional light fixtures are run in parallel to the first fixture.

4- Way Switch Installation - Layout Diagram 1 (Figure 2):

Figure 2 - 4-Way Switch Installation - Layout Diagram 1

4-Way Switch Wiring Diagram: Power enters at...

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–Check local regulations for restrictions and permit requirements before beginning electrical work– The user of this information is responsible for following all applicable regulations and best practices when performing electrical work. If the user is unable to perform electrical work themselves, a qualified electrician should be consulted.

–Most wiring diagrams on this site include a green dot representing the integrated grounding terminal found in most metal outlet boxes. However, some older metal boxes and most plastic boxes don't have a terminal like this.
–By code, the number of conductors allowed in a box are limited depending on its size. Conductors include wires, devices like switches and receptacles, and some other metal parts. Check here to calculate the number of conductors allowed in a box before adding new wiring, etc.

Source at First Switch

In this basic 4 way light circuit the source is at the first switch and the hot connects to the common...

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Virtually every house has at least one set of three way switches. They may be at the bottom and the top of stairways. Often they can be found at either end of a hallway. If one breaks or you wish to replace them with more decorative switches, you can often confuse the wires.

If you hook up either one or both of the three way switches incorrectly, they will not operate properly. One switch may turn the lights on and off, while the other switch does nothing.

Which Wire is What?

Let's assume you are in a mess right now. The switches don't work. You don't have a continuity tester. Here is how to fix them. The first thing that must be done is to identify the two common or traveler wires. WATCH THE ABOVE VIDEO to see what those wires are.


CLICK HERE to get FREE & FAST BIDS from local electricians in case you're too scared or frustrated to fix your 3-way switch.

Find the HOT Wire First

Identifying the travelers at each...

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Ceiling Fan Installation

I have just installed a ceiling fan (with light kit)in my gameroom but I am not sure about the wiring. The fan has a black and white wire and the electrical box has a black, red and white. I am putting the fan on a dual switch so I what the fan controlled on one switch and the light on the other. But the problem comes in on how to do the wiring when I only have one hot wire coming from the fan. Does anyone know how I should handle this so that each switch controls a functions?

Depending on what products you used and how you connected everything, the light kit should have its own black (sometimes blue) wire. You may have connected this to the fan's black resulting in only one hot wire. You can connect the hot wire from the light kit directly to the hot wire from the switch.

Ceiling Light Wiring

I have a ceiling light with a pull chain switch. I want to add a second porcelain keyless lamp base to another part of the...

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The front of your computer is the Front Panel.
The area of pins on the motherboard, that the main wires from the Front panel go to, is the Front Panel header.

Looking at the Front Panel header it is parallel to the outside edge on the bottom/right of the motherboard.

13 pin header.
6 across the Top row with 1 pin missing, 7 across the Bottom row.

Top row is numbered EVEN
Starting on LEFT side coming across to the Right, Top row;
Pins 2, 4, 6, 8, No Pin, 12, and 14.

Pins 2 and 4 have a Green area
Pins 6 and 8 have a Red area
No Pin 10.
Pins 12, and 14 have a Yellow area

Bottom row is numbered ODD.
Starting on LEFT side coming across to the Right, Bottom row;
Pins 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13.

Pins 2 and 4 have a Green area
Pins 6 and 8 have a Red area
No Pin 10.
Pins 12 and 14 have a Green...

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How to Install a 4 Way Switch

4 way switch wiring

Before you can install a four-way you need to understand how a three-way circuit works so please see my how to install a three-way switch before attempting a four-way. Also please keep in mind that I only show one way to install a 3-way switch. There are few ways to wire a 3 way.

In order to have a four your need to have a three-way. No matter how many switches you want in your circuit you will only have two three way switches. You’ll have one at the beginning and at the end. All switches in between will be a 4-way switch. Even if you intend to have only three switch’s or ten of them.

So let’s say you have an existing three-way circuit and you want to add another switch to it. All you have to do is find the (3-wire) running from one 3-way switch to the other 3-way switch and install the 4-way switch between the two. Now that’s sounds easy but you will most likely find that wire way to short to just cut...

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Controlling a light with two or more switches

This page describes how to use 3-way and 4-way switches to control lights from two or more locations. This is the first of several related pages explaining how to control lights with multiple switches. Click here for an overview of all these pages.

A light or lights can be controlled by more than one switch. The usual practice in home construction is to use 3-way switches. "3-way" is the electrician's designation for a single pole double throw (SPDT) switch.

A 3-way switch is shown below. Slide your mouse over it to see it change state (requires Javascript enabled):

Here is a typical circuit in its four possible states.:

The switches must create a complete circuit for current to flow and the bulb to light. When both switches are up, the circuit is complete (top right). When both switches are down, the circuit is complete (bottom right). If one switch is up and one is down, the current...

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How Does Switch Wiring Work?

The way a light switch is wired depends on whether the power comes into the light box or the switch box first. If power comes into the switch box first, the neutral white line from the service panel and the white line that leads to the light are spliced together. The hot black wire from the power source travels through the switch and from there to the light. Flipping the switch interrupts the flow of electricity to the light, turning it off and on.

If the line carrying power comes into the light box first, the circuit must still be wired so the switch interrupts the black line. The white wire from the service panel is wired to one side of the light. The black wire is spliced to a black wire in a cable that runs to the switch. That cable's white wire is also connected to the switch and runs back to and is connected to the light. Flipping the switch interrupts the flow of electricity, and the switch does its job.

Because the...

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Wiring a 4-way Switch

How to wire a 4 way switch. Wiring a 4-way switch is simply adding a switch to an already existing 3-way switch circuit. This allows you to control a load from other locations in addition to the (2) locations that a 3-way circuit provides. First of all we need to go over a little basic terminology on switches. Go to my Switch Terminology Page where I discuss the terms used for the different types of home electrical switches. It should also help in understanding the functions of each type of switch.

When wiring a 4-way switch circuit, What were doing is simply controlling the power flow (Switching off/on) to the load (a light, lamp, outlet, ceiling fan etc..) from more than 2 different locations. a couple examples would be:

At each end of a hallway and a switch halfway down the hallway. or at the top & bottom of a stairway and a switch by the front door.

We will assume that the circuit in these examples are controlling the power...

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